The 45th Graduation Play of the English Department
Oscar Wilde 奧斯卡．王爾德（1854~1900）
One of the most versatile wits in the 19th century, Oscar Wilde originally lived a glorious life and was well-admired, yet was criticized and judged severely after publishing his first novel The Picture of Dorian Gray because of its unique presentation of the idea of love in the novel.
Oscar Wilde was born into an outstanding family at Dublin, Ireland. While pursuing his studies, Wilde was greatly influenced by aesthetics. He was a writer, poet, playwright, and a promoter of the Aesthetic Movement.
Talented, eloquent and attractive, Wilde was a renowned celebrity in literary circles at that time, and his works were famous for their flowery language, novel ideas and powerful opinions. However, everything changed after the publishing of The Picture of Dorian Gray.
“Everyone sees his own sin in Dorian Gray. What Dorian Gray’s sin was no one says and no one knows. Anyone who recognizes it has committed it.”
--Oscar Wilde in defense of the novel in the Scots Observer.
The Picture of Dorian Gray was published in 1890 and caused a mighty uproar. The novel was a combination of various writing styles and concepts, including Gothic and Faustian themes, issues of morality, and aestheticism. Notably, the homosexuality alluded to in the novel was shocking. In 1895, Wilde was imprisoned for being homosexual; moreover, the novel became one of the most powerful pieces of evidence against him.
After reaching the peak of his fame and success, the life of Oscar Wilde declined like a withering flower after its blossom. Regardless of this, his works, including novels, scripts and poems, are immensely admired, and his homosexuality was accepted by later generations.